Exceeding Great and Precious Promises
We have been given many exceeding great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4) through the knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ our Lord, and one of these is His promise to answer our prayers. How often in the Scripture's we are simply told to ask and it shall be given to us, but many Christians neglect to take their petitions to the Lord in prayer. The apostle James tells us, Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
Perhaps some have neglected to take their concerns to the Lord in prayer because of previous prayers that may appear to have gone unanswered. Some may have wondered whether the Lord is even listening, but there are some hindrances whereby the Lord will not hear our prayer. Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Isaiah 59:1-2). For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil (1Peter 3:12).
The psalmist said, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (Psalms 66:18). In fact, He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination (Proverbs 28:9). So, it is essential that we confess our sins (transgressions of the law, 1 John 3:4) if we would take prayer seriously with the Lord. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
We must understand, that there are conditions for answered prayer. The Lord is
not some genie in a bottle that will grant us all our wishes. He is the
Creator, the Lord of Heaven. He is all wise and knows what is best for us.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it
upon your lusts
(James 4:3). If we are praying for the riches of this world, we are likely
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content
(1 Timothy 6:8).
Another hindrence for answered prayer may be poor home relationships (1Peter 3:1-7). Also, if we ask in unbelief, neither should we expect the Lord to answer us. Jesus said, If ye have faith, and doubt not all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22-23).
And when we come before the throne of grace, the things that we ask should be according to His perfect will. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1John 5:14-15).
When we are in fellowship with the Lord (1John 1:1-10), we should know the things that we should ask of Him. If our delight is in the Law of the Lord, we should be thinking God's thoughts after Him, asking according to His will. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:4-5).
In light of these Scripture's we can understand the following promises. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7-8). If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (James 1:5-6). Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24). And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight (1John 3:22 ). If ye abide in me Jesus said, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).
We may get immediate answers to our prayers, but sometimes we may have to wait on the Lord for His good timing. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD (Psalm 27:14).
We must have patience, but we can be confident that the Lord hears us if we are abiding in His Word, not harboring any unconfessed sin, and are seeking His will in all things and praying in faith.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
We can have peace of mind and heart when we bring our concerns and petitions before the Lord. He knows best how to deal with them and we can rest assured that He will.
And of course we should be praying in the wonderful name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (John 14:14). GNC
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.
Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819-1886)